Warning NZ ports may start to seize up this week if non-essential freight can’t be moved

Allowing only essential freight to be transported to businesses by road, not that simple, haulage organisation warns.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/STUFFAllowing only essential freight to be transported to businesses by road, not that simple, haulage organisation warns.

A “pile-up” is looming at the country’s ports that will restrict the movement of food and medical supplies if non-essential freight destined for closed businesses can’t be cleared, Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett has warned.

“All manner” of freight could arrive at the same time on cargo ships, he said.

“We now have a situation where many businesses that receive some of that freight are closed and there is nowhere for it to go,” he said.

“The issue with non-essential goods is you can remove them from the port, but if there’s nobody at the receiving end at work, where do you put them?’

The Government needed to recognise that “all freight must move” during New Zealand’s coronavirus lockdown, and not just essential items, Leggett said.

He forecast “constipation” at the ports and massive problems, if the issue wasn’t addressed.

“This an absolute real live thing.”

Containers need to be cleared and emptied to ensure essential supplies can get in and exports can get out, Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett says.
SUPPLIEDContainers need to be cleared and emptied to ensure essential supplies can get in and exports can get out, Road Transport Forum chief executive Nick Leggett says.

​Mainfreight chief executive Don Braid said it wasn’t seeing congestion yet, but the forum was “making good points”.

“Under the lockdown rules, it is not possible to deliver non-essential freight.”

A successful outcome would require “innovative thinking and action”, he said.

“We are attempting to assist the government agencies through this where we can.” 

Leggett said officials at the Transport Ministry had “definitely listened” to the forum’s concerns, but had said the rules stood at this point.

“If it is deemed by the Government to not be essential, it cannot be moved.

“We absolutely appreciate the reasons for that but if we don’t have an ‘all-of supply’ chain solution to this we believe there will be issues in a couple of weeks,” he said.

Transport Ministry supply chain manager Harriet Shelton responded to the forum’s concerns with an update that said its lockdown rules did allow the movement of non-essential goods “if necessary to move or create space for essential goods”.

Leggett said the forum would not have put out its warning lightly at this time.

Reopening closed businesses to accept non-essential freight would “fly in the face” of the reasons for the lockdown, which were to keep as many people home as possible, he said.

“We do appreciate that, but we need a solution.”

Leggett said another problem was that if containers in which non-essential goods were imported were not emptied, there would be a shortage of containers for exported goods going out.

“All freight needs to move during this time to enable the valuable exports that are going out, such as kiwi fruit, access to ports.”

Port of Tauranga says non-essential freight can be stacked next to its terminals but will then take time to retrieve, so it is important essential goods are identified first.
MATT SHAND/STUFFPort of Tauranga says non-essential freight can be stacked next to its terminals but will then take time to retrieve, so it is important essential goods are identified first.

Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association chief executive Rosemary Dawson agreed that the delivery of non-essential cargo remained an issue that would need to be dealt with to avoid congestion. 

“Sea freight was operating fairly normally now,” she said.

But Dawson said she “absolutely” shared some of the concerns expressed by the Road Transport Forum, including with regard to the availability of empty shipping containers.

Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns said it had put in place new measures to allow importers to identify imported cargo required for essential services before it arrived in New Zealand “so that it can be handled and transported first”.

It needed the support and co-operation of importers and exporters to help it manage the flow of cargo “and avoid blocking the path of essential food, medicine, equipment and other supplies”, he said.

Mainfreight chief executive Don Braid says the Road Transformation Forum is making good points and innovative thinking will be needed.
CHRIS HUTCHING/STUFFMainfreight chief executive Don Braid says the Road Transformation Forum is making good points and innovative thinking will be needed.

Non-essential imported cargo could be temporarily stored on or off-site until it could be collected by truck or transferred by rail to MetroPort Auckland, he said.

Spokeswoman Rochelle Lockely said non-essential freight could be stored near its terminals in Auckland and Tauranga, but once freight went into that “locked stack” it would not be fast to retrieve, so it was important essential items were identified first.

There was a worldwide shortage of shipping containers because of the disruptions caused to supply chains globally by the coronavirus, but that was not something the port had detailed information on, she said.

The port would not charge extra fees for storing non-essential cargo until April 26, apart from one-off handling charges and for power charges needed to keep refrigerated containers cool, Cairns said.

The Road Transport Forum has suggested that some goods that can’t be delivered to closed businesses could be stored on land owned by Kiwirail, but Leggett believed that could only be part of any remedy.

“Closing down the country to the scale we have now hasn’t been done before and it does reveal some issues that need to be addressed pragmatically,” he said.

To illustrate the problem, Leggett said 14,000 cars were expected to arrive from Asia over the next month.

“Those cars cannot stay on the port; they have to go somewhere. The dealers that would normally take them are closed.

“We appreciate cars are not an essential service, however, they are holding space that is needed for essential goods.

“Our industry is looking at how we could find storage for the freight with nowhere to go, but we need the Government to allow that freight to move,” he said.

Leggett said some truck drivers had been stopped by police and asked what they were doing on the roads.

“Well, they are doing a job and it is one that is essential at a time like this.

“They cannot be forced by the Government to be arbiters of what is essential and non-essential on the back of their truck,” he said.


Queensland Covid-19 vessel ban is ‘reckless and indefensible’, says shipping group


ID 16170405 © Imagecom | Dreamstime.comBy Gavin van Marle 18/03/2020

Australian shipping lobby group Shipping Australia has slammed today’s decision by the state of Queensland to introduce restrictions on ships calling at its ports, particularly the container hub of Brisbane.

Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) today banned all commercial ships from entering ports in the state if the ship, or anyone on board, has been in any country outside Australia within the past 14 days.

Contravention of the MSQ ruling is a criminal offence, for which the maximum penalty is A$66,725 ($40,000) for an individual and A$333,625 for a corporation.

Shipping Australia said it understood other maritime authorities in the country were considering similar restrictions, and claimed they could put society as a whole at risk.

“Australian port authorities are now exacerbating an already bad coronavirus situation by restricting the ability of cargo ships to deliver desperately needed goods.

“This is putting Australian families at risk by potentially causing supply chain shortages of medicines and everyday consumer needs,” it added.

Shipping Australia’s chief executive, Rod Nairn, said: “The MSQ policy is reckless and indefensible; cargo ship crews are probably the lowest-risk sector in the world, with not one cargo ship crew member yet being confirmed as having Covid-19.”

The organisation noted that most Asia-Australia shipping services “are only six to eight days’ duration and ships would have to potentially wait around for up to 14 days to enter.

“And that’s at a cost of A$25,000 a day. When a port entry costs about A$250,000 a time, shipping lines are indicating that these directions from port authorities to stay away are simply unsustainable”, it said.

It further claimed that some carriers could be forced to omit port calls, which would “lead to massive relocation of cargo away from where it is supposed to be and it will have to be trucked across the continent.

“Trucking costs could escalate. Australia is a big place – it will take days upon days to get to where it is needed. Costs to everyday Australians could rocket.”

And it also claimed that the restrictions would also hit container supply chains serving New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, for which Australian ports commonly act as hubs.

“Blocking shipping’s ability to deliver desperately needed freight to the islands is not an optimal outlook.

“Meanwhile, New Zealand and Australia both have 14-day exclusion periods. So, as of now, the Aus-New Zealand trade is being killed off,” it said.

…And the world of shipping continues as usual

It might seem like an obvious statement to regular readers of Seatrade Maritime News but despite the global COVID-19 pandemic the world shipping continues to work pretty much as usual round the clock.

As people in many countries find themselves confined to their houses and working from home, we thought it was worth highlighting the shipping industry continues to run as normal, if largely unseen, as usual, to the general public.

Early morning on Friday off Changi point in Singapore on a number of vessels could be seen either on voyages or performing operations at time when most would be yet to start work, even if their current commute consists of little more than walking to the dining room table.

The bulker Ocean Future could be seen performing what appeared to be a transloading operation near Palau Tekong.


The floating crane vessel Asian Hercules sailed through the narrow strait moving from Pasir Gudang, Malaysia to Gul Basin in Singapore according to Marinetraffic.com


The Japanese cruise ship Asuka II was sailing outbound having apparently come dock in Sembawang Shipyard.

Meanwhile at least two other tankers were spotted sailing outbound most likely from Pasir Gudang in Malaysia.

Neptune Pacific Line Acquires Pacific Direct Line

in International Shipping News 14/03/2020

Friday, Neptune Pacific Line (Neptune) announced it has acquired Pacific Direct Line (PDL) from PDL’s parent holding company, Pacific International Lines (PIL). The combined business will seamlessly link transport, warehousing, depots and customs clearance services and fully integrate customers’ supply chains across 18 South Pacific markets.

The acquisition of PDL will strengthen Neptune’s Melanesian and Polynesian network, provide a link to Micronesia and the French territories, and enhance connectivity to global markets via strategic hubs in New Zealand and Fiji.

“This purchase supports our long-term vision of creating the strongest and best regional network of shipping and logistics services in the Pacific Islands,” said Rolf Rasmussen, Managing Director of Neptune. “By acquiring PDL, we can further develop our mainline shipping network to provide fixed-day services and increase the utilization of our combined fleet, enabling us to continue to offer competitive freight rates. PDL’s extensive logistics network will allow us to support our customers across their entire supply chain needs.”

“Our group strives to optimise our resources and to review our overall business approach for new business opportunities,” said Teo Siong Seng, Executive Chairman and Managing Director of PIL. “The divestment of PDL is part of our strategic move that enables PIL to focus its resources on growing in the key liner markets that it operates in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America. We will continue to improve our liner services between Asia and Oceania including the South Pacific Islands.”

PDL currently operates throughout the South Pacific region and specialises in providing liner shipping services from New Zealand and Australia to the South Pacific Islands. With the acquisition of PDL, Neptune will now have a specialized fleet of nine vessels dedicated to South Pacific Island trades and a team of more than 800, most of whom are based in supply chain services in the region.

“Pacific Direct Line was founded to support the socio-economic development of the Pacific Islands by providing reliable, consistent shipping and logistics services,” said Oliver Ravel, CEO of PDL. “Today, with the support of PIL, PDL has grown to become a market leader in the South Pacific. By selling the business to our regional partner, we can ensure that this legacy will live on and that our customers will continue to be supported by a local service provider that understands the needs of the region.”
Source: Neptune Pacific Line (Neptune)

COVID-19 Update: Ports of Auckland response

Update 1: 16 March 2020

With the COVID-19 situation escalating rapidly, I wanted to update you on the measures the port is taking to secure Auckland’s maritime supply lines.
As one of Auckland’s lifeline utilities we are acutely aware of our responsibility to ensure that 1.7 million Aucklanders can continue to get key essentials through the port. We’re also acutely aware that many Auckland businesses rely on getting imports in or exports out via our port to keep their businesses running.

I want to reassure you that we are doing all we can to safeguard our ability to service ships, so we can continue to serve you.

Impact so far:

To date there has been no impact on our ability to operate.
Container volumes were down 15% in February as a result of restrictions in China and we expect the same for March. April bookings look firmer now that China is starting to get back up and running, but volumes to other countries may be impacted.

General cargo volumes have not changed much but we do expect vehicle volumes to fall as a result of lower demand and disruption to the vehicle supply chain overseas.

Cruise visits are now suspended, with 30 visits cancelled.
In our view, the impact of COVID-19 could last until September or longer.

Our actions to date:

We are doing everything we can to prevent our staff from getting sick. While some of our staff can work from home, quite obviously we can’t run a port without people on site. For that reason, preventing our staff from getting sick is crucial.

We have been operating with increased border controls since January. This has included not handling ships which had called in high-risk areas and/or ships with crew who had transferred from high-risk areas in the 14 days before they were due in port.

The most recent restrictions from Government are helpful. With the closure of the cruise industry, we are now able to focus on handling freight. Shore leave for ship crews has been stopped. International transfers are still allowed, but we have put in place measures to ensure crew do not interact with our staff.

Staff interactions with ship crews is being kept to a minimum and our staff have effective personal protective equipment and training.
We are preparing to put in place land-side control measures.

We have also:
• Brought forward the provision of flu vaccinations;
• Provided clear advice to staff on how to avoid infection;
• Required staff returning from international travel to stay home for 14 days;
• Banned international business travel
• Cancelled non-essential meetings;
• Provided additional leave to ensure sick staff stay home;
• Provided Employee Assistance Programme support for staff.


Last week we successfully completed the first trial ship-loading operation. A vessel completed its regular container exchange and was then moved to the new northern berth to top-up with empty containers. This went very well and a second, larger practice is planned this week.
The recently announced travel restrictions will impact on the go-live planned for the end of the month. We were awaiting the arrival of key staff from The Netherlands who need to be on site for go live, and this is now not possible with a 14-day self-isolation period. We are currently figuring out how we can work around this restriction, possibly through remote access.
Reduced volumes through the container terminal have had some upside for automation. We have been able to accelerate staff training and we will be able to bring forward some infrastructure work that is needed for phase 2 go live. We hope that this will allow us to still hit our planned full go live date in late May, early June.
Automation could prove to be a crucial tool in our efforts to keep the port operational, especially if large numbers of our stevedoring staff get sick.

What you can do:

We need your help to keep the port open. Ensure your staff know how to protect themselves from infection. If any of your staff are sick or have travelled in the past 14 days, please ensure they do not come to the port. These simple steps will help us help you.
I hope this update is useful. I will provide further updates as the situation changes.

Kind regards
Tony Gibson
Ports of Auckland.

Ports of Auckland terminal automation

The following is an announcement from Ports of Auckland:

In preparation for phase 1 go-live, we have begun trialling small container exchanges on regular vessels using the automated systems.
The first of these took place last night (12 March) and went well. The MSC Lori completed its normal exchange at our FX/FZ berths and was then moved to Fergusson North (FN) to top off the load with empty containers.

This practice run has given our staff and external parties like truck drivers valuable experience with the new system and processes.
We are aiming to complete a second empty loading practice next week, if shipping schedules allow, and possibly a third the week after.
We will then carry out an exchange on a vessel at FN, which will mark the ‘official’ go-live for Phase 1 of automation.

Phase 1 involves turning on the automation on the northern part of our terminal, serving Fergusson North Berth (FN, the wharf with the new cranes on it). We will start phase 1 with one ship a week and gradually build up until we are delivering a full service across multiple vessels handled each week.
We will also trial moving laden imports that have come off vessels at FX/FZ through the automated terminal to be delivered via the A-Strad truck grids so we can build experience and capacity gradually over the coming weeks.

The switch to full terminal wide automation will probably not happen until late June, and only when we have complete confidence in the operation of the automated systems.

COVID-19 has caused many problems worldwide, including reducing our container volumes in February and March. However, the silver lining in this cloud is that the reduced workload has made it easier to train our stevedoring teams in the new processes for automation. We are also likely to be able to bring forward some of the remaining pavement work we need to do before going live in the southern part of the terminal in June.

It is important to understand that the changes we are making at Fergusson Container Terminal are significant in terms of how we will operate in the future. Critically, automation provides additional yard capacity, more stevedoring resource and consistent handling of trucks through the main truck grid. It does not mean more VBS slots during the daytime hours of Monday to Friday, but once fully implemented in the second half of 2020 it will deliver more consistent levels of service throughout the day and night, as well as weekends. Business processes will change, particularly when it comes to managing exceptions. This is new technology and a new way of operating. POAL is leading worldwide innovation by combining a manned (people) straddle operation with automated straddles. From the onset we have to manage the operation carefully and build up our capacity and operations in a way that ensures safety for our people and a reliable and sustainable level of service to our customers.

For any further questions related to Automation please also refer to our FAQ on our website. http://www.poal.co.nz/about-us/Pages/Automation.aspx
We will continue to provide regular updates and please continue to tune into our Website for further updates.

Corona virus – Covid-19 Remote working

No doubt everyone reading this has already been affected by this virus – supply chain disruption and/or the measures being taken to avoid the spread of this virus through community transmission.

One recommended measure is to work from home whenever possible.

It’s not well known, but for several years Cubic has operated a totally decentralised remote working business model, using readily available technology to maintain a virtual office with all team members visible and audible to all other team members. Our VoIP phone system is an essential part of this.

We have often wondered why many other businesses don’t use the same model. But perhaps this crisis will be the catalyst for change.

For anyone considering this, I am happy to give you the benefit of the experience we have gained over the past few years, and an appraisal of the advantages and disadvantages of decentralised remote working. Call me on 09 3201062 or 021 328689, or email me at davea@cubic.co.nz

Coronavirus: The day Trump discovered coronavirus, and screwed the global economy

Luke Malpass16:32, Mar 12 2020

OPINION: So, Donald Trump, under all sorts of pressure in the United States over his handling of Coronavirus, has suddenly turned around and banned all travel of non-US residents from Europe to the United States.

Short of shutting all US borders and ports, this was the worst thing the US president could have done. Up until now Covid-19 look like something that would herald a downturn, but that public health interventions would get on top of. Countries such New Zealand would suffer while the free flow of people was disrupted, but things would stabilise and return to normal in due course.

That could all still happen, but Trump has now ensured that the flow of people will be reduced, airlines will get hammered, trans-Atlantic business will be seriously knee-capped. Global confidence will take a major hit. Like many things the US president does, there is no particular logic evident behind this decision. If Trump wanted to stop the spread of the virus he would have grounded internal US flights. Or banned flights from Europe weeks ago. Now, instead, he has sent a signal to the world – and global markets – that if faced by an unpredictable event, the US will issue a nonsensical and nativist response.

There is a whole industry of White House watchers in the US that try to ascribe grand narratives or strategic nous to anything that Presidents do – including Trump. But if Trump has shown anything during his presidency it is that he is capricious, impulsive and his decisions often lack basic rationality. The only thing he appears to have ever consistently believed is that running a trade deficit makes you a loser. That makes this latest decision even more worrying: it could get tied up in his broader protectionist agenda. 

For New Zealand, an open and exposed trading nation at the bottom of the world, this can only be bad news. While any holidaymakers to the US may change their plans and come down to New Zealand on account of being able to actually get in (for now), the fact the we have some Coronavirus cases – although not many – isn’t a great ad. In any case, if New Zealand follows the pattern of many other countries, we should expect more confirmed cases of the virus to pop up after a lull in the 48-72 hours.

The Government’s handling of Coronavirus has improved markedly this week, and the continued low-key approach has been in keeping with the national character. 

Trump said US clusters of coronavirus were "seeded" by European travellers.
MANUEL BALCE CENETA/APTrump said US clusters of coronavirus were “seeded” by European travellers. More lies.

But with global markets being smashed; a conservative Australian government now spraying around $A17.6 billion in stimulus cash to tourist operators, apprentices, families and pensioners; and the US President giving an unhealthy injection of uncertainty, the Government’s initial economic response expected early next week has taken on a whole new significance. From here it looks likely that this crisis will only get worse – for public health, private wallets, treasury coffers and jobs – before it gets better.


Coronavirus: Supply disruptions for New Zealand importers and exporters

Electronics, iPhones, clothes, and raw materials are in short supply and could take much longer to get here as the novel coronavirus outbreak slows global trade.

Photo: 123RF

More than 60 countries now have cases of Covid-19, with the outbreak limiting travel, trade, and shipping.

Stats NZ said the virus may have cost as much as $300 million in lost exports to China in the past month.

Meat company Silver Fern Farms said the port in Shanghai was at capacity and ships were unable to unload there.

In addition, factory closures in China because of the coronavirus outbreak have left New Zealand outlets short of vacuums, televisions and iPhones.

Stock levels across businesses are running low and are unable to be replenished as shipping routes slow and change around the virus.

Noel Leeming merchandise executive general manager Jason Bell said they had sufficient stock for now, but a few lines had run out.

“We are expecting that there could be delays from April but the extent of that is unclear at this stage.”

The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery was closely monitoring the effect of Covid-19 on its supply chain.

Chief sourcing officer Tania Benyon said some shipments from China, including winter clothing, could be delayed by up to eight weeks, but they had started sourcing goods elsewhere.

“We have options available to us as we have factories manufacturing products outside China, and in addition to our NZ operations we have an office in India.”

Apple has told its investors the number of iPhones would be limited and slow to return to normal.

It is already difficult to get them here with some models completely out of stock in at least one major retailer.

Kenneth Leong, chairperson of the Association of South East Asian Nations Business Council, said manufacturers who used raw material from China were having a nightmare getting supplies.

This included clothing factories trying to bring in fabric, he said.

“Importers and exporters are currently experiencing very significant disruptions to global supply chains. Although some manufacturers may be looking to source products from outside China, the reality is a lot of their raw components come from China.”

Leong said trade had been restricted for about a month and businesses were fast running out of stock – although he would not name them.

Plastics New Zealand chief executive Rachel Barker said the problem was widespread across multiple sectors – like packaging and food and also medical supplies.

“A company who manufactures medical devices which go all over the world, but their electronics come from China … because of those issues with shipping from China at the moment, they have had some problems actually getting those electronics to then make the product to then ship to China.”

Food and Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich said industry was having to work hard to find other sources.

“New Zealand’s economy is interwoven with the economy of China and so we are starting to see products that have been ordered not be able to be dispatched, also ingredients for New Zealand food manufactures being difficult to source,” Rich said.

It was not a problem that exclusively affected importers – exporters had also taken a financial hit.

© Scoop Media

The feebate failure shows EV action must come from the people

As Winston Peters obstructs a scheme designed to encourage take-up of electric and hybrid vehicles, we’ll have to look elsewhere for leadership on electric vehicles.Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s apparent inability to stand up to New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is looking not just embarrassing for her but perhaps costly for the country. Effective action on housing, child poverty and the environment were the standout promises of Labour’s campaign in the last election. The pledge to be “transformational” is now not only a broken promise but an increasingly deep disappointment. On top of the Government’s well-known failure with KiwiBuild, new figures show family poverty to be grudgingly intransigent. Sadly, the Government’s struggle to make headway is now not only in housing and poverty, but also in the environment.

With scientists warning the world has just 10 years to avert catastrophic global warming, the urgency for political parties to agree on workable measures is greater than ever. Yet for each step forward, such as the net-zero carbon legislation, there is another going back.

The latest backward step is the indefinite delay of the proposed feebate scheme designed to hasten and encourage take-up of electric and hybrid vehicles.

New Zealand is one of only two OECD countries to do nothing to regulate vehicle pollution and, thanks to petty political wrangling, we’ll be staying with Australia in the slow lane a while longer.

The scheme is not yet in ideal shape, but agreements were in place to neutralise the potential unfairness – and therefore the political risk – of making petrol and diesel cars pricier. The technical fishhooks could well have been straightened out through the select-committee process. In response to criticism from National and others, the Government had early on agreed to exempt farmers and those who depend on powerful, load-towing vehicles not yet available other than in diesel or petrol form. However, NZ First has now stalled the policy.

The Greens’ response has been to make their frustration public, thus depleting any remaining goodwill between them and NZ First. Labour has once again been left looking ineffectual in the face of coalition rivalry, and Ardern ineffective in preventing Peters from running the show.

As for the National Party, whose leader and transport spokesperson both drive EVs and which has an increasingly influential blue-green wing, it has yet to propose an alternative way to encourage New Zealanders to make the switch to electric vehicles.It’s fair to say both National and NZ First still have valid concerns about the proposed scheme’s effect on rural and provincial New Zealand, but it’s also true they could be “grandfathered” until suitable green vehicles emerge.

The Treasury argues the Emissions Trading Scheme would be a better way to drive our fleet conversion. But the scheme is complex, controversial and largely incomprehensible to most. The feebate’s transfer mechanism has the virtues of simplicity and comparative ease of implementation.

One can also argue that a compulsion to switch to electric vehicles – which are by no means free from environmental problems – will hasten the research and development required to improve them.

The limited, and often overstated, range of EVs, the paucity of charging facilities and sluggish supply of vehicles into New Zealand’s small market are all problems, with or without a feebate. Questions also abound over the sustainability of the EV batteries’ mineral-dependent manufacture and short life. And how do we greenly repurpose the redundant global fossil-fuel car fleet?

These issues need, and are receiving, urgent global attention.

Meanwhile, our most effective response to the greenhouse-emissions problem is a widespread conversion to EVs as soon as practicable.

Sure, the scheme was never perfect, yet perfect is not always the aim. Many people want to make the switch from petrol- and diesel-driven engines, and this scheme may perhaps have been less politically untenable than NZ First and National seem to presume.

In the face of the changes New Zealand must make to reduce environmental degradation, the feebate scheme is minor. However, as a signal of political commitment to move in the right direction, it is vital.

Those who can afford to switch to electric or hybrid vehicles, and who can see the value to New Zealand, should do so, knowing that environmental protection is too important to leave to political vagaries. They should be applauded, along with all Kiwis who consciously keep their transport emissions down. Leadership on this will have to come from the people.

This editorial  was first published in the March 7, 2020 issue of the New Zealand Listener.